How dare you disturb this marital domestic bliss? How dare you enter into my heart, my soul, my darkened spaces and ask me to question all of this?
You come in here, all jolly and lightness, entering into the space which is all mine for all of time. You enter into my mind and shine the light.
That’s not fair.
I’ve worked so hard to make this place all right, everything just so. The marriage boat is floating, watertight. The picket fence is polished and the garden is looking neat. The dinner is on the table. It’s all ok this house, this home, this mind of mine, balanced in perfect equilibrium.
Oh, you say I invited you in? I find that hard to believe. The door was locked, I know I checked. I never leave it unlocked in this suburb of endless gardens and children walking home from school. You can never be too careful, even if the chap from two doors down says hello each morning, watering his garden in his singlet.
So now. You’re here. You’re inside. My arms are folded and I’m confused. Would you like a cup of tea? I’ll be the perfect hostess, as I was trained to be. But don’t stay long. Take a biscuit if you like. But you’ll have to be going before the shadows stretch.
I’ll make one for myself as well, but only because it’s polite. I’ll sit and chat with you a while, make small conversation without much point. I’ll skirt around the reason that you’re really here.
One more cup of tea? OK. But make it only one. I’ve got things to look at, things to read, washing that must be done.
What’s that you say, you’ve been waiting to come? You knew all along? You knew which bus to take, which road to walk, which turn to the left would lead you here? I never told you the directions, as complicated as they are. You must have asked my mother, my sister, the man two doors down. I can’t believe I led you this far.
Don’t cross your arms like that, and lean back against the chair. Don’t stare at me so quizzically, like you’re giving me a dare. Stop piercing me with mental hooks, the ones which pierce my chest. I thought I’d built the armour tighter, stronger, brighter, best.
I’d agree to disagree. I let you in, you think. I think you climbed in through the bathroom window, squeezing in to stand on the sink. The window was open for fresh air, thats all. To let out the steam and funk. It’s not my fault you took one glance and thought you could shimmy through. And now you’re sitting opposite, and in the dining room there’s now me and you.
Can you feel my frustration, my melancholy, my pain? I thought I’d managed to close Pandora’s box, but look you’ve clambered out again.
My head is in my hands because you’re causing me to think. No, no, I’ll be alright. I just need a water and a Panadol, they’re kept above the sink. Thanks for that, you were always kind. You knew just what to say. But why are you here, I spit the words. Not to tend to my wounds this way.
Don’t look so softly and so kind, that really isn’t fair. I’ve locked it all away inside, it’s mine and for none to share. Don’t shine the light, don’t strike the match. I’m happier in the dark. It’s been ok, alright, sometimes. On balance I’ve no complaints.
Oh, your tea cup is empty? You don’t want anymore? I’ll press another biscuit onto you, if you tell me something more. Why did you come? Why travel so far? Don’t leave me questioning still. I know that we’ve got things to say, so many things to touch. There’s this elephant in the room which I’m not liking much.
Don’t walk out the door without giving me what I need, walking into the blue evening light. I need the answer to my headaches and ills, the feeling something’s not right. You know about the missing piece, the thing I cannot touch. I can’t bear to look at it. Don’t point at it and stare.
You’ve known about it all along, that the piece is missing still. You say you know where it is kept? I don’t believe you. You lie. I don’t trust you with your openness, your warmth and the promise of the sky. It’s time you left. I’ll walk you out, I think you can leave by the door. I’ll hold my hand upon the frame, and wave at you as your figure retreats some more.
Don’t come back again, I yell at last. The man two doors down, in his singlet, starts.
I close the door and listen and wait. My heart sinks low, steady but fast, as I hear the closing of the gate.